#11 WHO ARE YOU?
Last week I wrote about how we should eliminate distractions and really listen what people have to say. This week we’re going to dig more into who we are as listeners. I think it’s one of the lost arts in communication.
The more we know who are and who are we talking to, the easier it gets to get our ideas along. The conversations will be more engaging for everyone.
There are different types of listeners, which one are you?
They always seem anxious, in a rush and distracted by something. These people think they are multitaskers and they always do many things simultaneously. Especially when you’re a man - YOU CAN’T MULTITASK!
Before you start talking to them just ask “Is this the right time for you?” or say “I need your full attention for a brief moment.”
If you are one, just eliminate all the distractions while talking to somebody.
The seem to locate in Earth, but in their mind, they’re on Mars. Lights are on, but nobody’s home. You can just say by their "nothing and cold" face.
If you are one, act more like a good listener. BE THERE by asking questions and keeping eye contact. Don’t phase out.
If you’re talking to one. Asking inquiring questions once in a while to check if they’re present. Start with a bang and something that gets their attention.
They always have something to say. They don’t really care whether you have finished your sentence or chain of thought. They’re finishing your sentences.
Talking to one just stop talking and let them say what they have to say. Otherwise they don’t listen to you anyway. If their finished just continue with “like I was saying” and carry on.
If you are one, just raise your hand, a finger. Apologize in the beginning if you’re going to interrupt.
They don’t show any emotion. You can’t say whether they’re listening to you or hanging with The Martian. No emotion at all. They seem like they just don’t give a damn.
Talking to one, make things dramatical and ask questions to get them in.
If you’re one focus on the full picture, not just the words. Use your eyes, ears and your Human.
They come out with their guns blazing, armed and ready to fight. They like to accuse people and argue with you.
Talking to one. If their criticism is in the right place thank them and take their advice into consideration. If they’re not right just tell them that you appreciate their opinion and do your thing.
If you are a warlord just put yourself in other people shoes to understand where are they coming from, understand them and find at least some positives.
They take the counselor and therapist role. Mr Fix-it-Guy will try to come up with some advice even if you haven’t asked one. They think they have listening superpowers and they like to help. Mr Fix-it-Guy will always analyse other people and try to find a way to help everyone.
If you’re one, just take a chill pill and try to understand that people don’t always want your advice. They just want to talk. Especially women, they just want to talk to feel better. As a man, shut up and listen. You’ll see how they will find the answers themselves while they talk.
If you’re talking to one just start with “I just want your opinion, not your advice”
This is 100% me. I have a compulsive need to help people. That’s why I’m working in customer service and put all my energy into this path. I first understood this when I read a book “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”. That was a big eye-opener for me and I started to be more conscious while talking to people, especially with women. I still sometimes do that, but now instead of giving advice, I ask more questions to get to the bottom of this. “I understand” has become my best friend.
This kind is the best breed of listeners. They use every single part of their body to fully focus on you. They listen with their ears, eyes, heart and they always see where you stand and put themselves in your shoes. This is the highest level in the kingdom of listeners. They encourage to keep on talking and they’ll let you find your answers yourself.
Just try to understand who you are and here is some good advice how to be a better listener. Mastering the listening skill is one of the most underestimated and yet most important skills that you can learn. You don’t have to go to school to learn it, write your thesis to become a good listener. You only have to analyse yourself or ask your friends. If you're struggling with this just ask them what you could do better to be a good listener.